Would you like to play The Boo?

November 2, 2011 8:39 PM

Have you ever wanted to play the Quadrangularus Reversum? Now you can. This site has Virtual Harry Partsch instruments you can play on your computer.

These sounds are definitely going to be the basis of my next post, when I eek out some time to do it. Maybe it could be a future MeFiMu challenge?
posted by umbú (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Oops. Here's the link.
posted by umbú at 8:41 PM on November 2, 2011

Man, I forgot that was out there. Thanks for the reminder!
posted by sleepy pete at 10:50 PM on November 2, 2011

Yeah, there's something about just intonation that really appeals to me. Whenever you hear people spontaneously harmonizing a capella (eg singing in tongues) it's always just and it's freaky how powerful it is. I've never experimented with different modes in just intonation but I bet they sound *really* different. Will check this out. Thank you. The chomolodeon looks particularly fine.
posted by unSane at 6:54 PM on November 3, 2011

I discovered Harry Partch first through his book, Genesis of a Music, which I found at the Birmingham Public Library around the year of 1976. I was 19. I couldn't make much sense of all the charts and numbers explaining his tuning system, but I was enthralled by the photos of his instruments, and his descriptions of them, and his general philosophy of music and sound.

Soon after, I sought out his music, purchasing Delusion of the Fury, and, as expected, was utterly enthralled (as a very young percussionist already seeking out new sounds) by those crazy instruments!

The one thing I've always been a bit disappointed with, though, in Partch's music, was his rhythm sense. Perhaps if he'd been more exposed to music from Africa (in particular) or elsewhere (say, Indonesia, or Korea) his rhythm might have been more, well, sophisticated. Polyrhythm, of one sort or another, might have played a bigger part in his writing for those amazing instruments. But as it was, his feel was always, well, just kinda duple, I guess, and was characterized by lots of straight 8th-note and 16th-note runs that just kinda kept going... so, the music itself mostly didn't move me.

Like sleepy pete, I'd seen that site before, but also like him, I'd forgotten about it! Thanks, unSane!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:16 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Don't thank me, Flapjax, thank umbú!
posted by unSane at 4:51 PM on November 6, 2011

D'oh! Thanks, umbú!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:01 PM on November 6, 2011

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